January 17, 2022

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Administration Releases 2021 Water Resilience Portfolio Progress Report
In early 2020, the California Natural Resources Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Food and Agriculture released the 2020 Water Resilience Portfolio as ordered by an April 29, 2019 executive order issued by Governor Newsom.

Last week, the agencies released their 2021 Water Resilience Portfolio Progress Report, providing an update on the State’s progress toward achieving the 142 tasks outlined in the 2020 document.

As Legislative Bulletin reported at the time the Portfolio was finalized, among the 142 actions outlined in the Portfolio were several CCA-supported priorities, with additional surface water storage being chief among these. In summarizing progress toward additional water storage since July 2020, the Progress Report notes that “local water agencies pursuing six new water storage projects…advanced their projects in 2021,” with the California Water Commission deeming all six projects feasible and the projects making significant strides in environmental documentation and financing. “If completed,” the Progress Report notes, “those six projects together would expand storage capacity in the state by nearly 2.8 million acre-feet of water.”

CCA continues to monitor several projects outlined under the Portfolio, including proposed actions which could impact water measurement and reporting regulations imposed pursuant to 2015’s SB 88. According to the Report, State agencies will continue to issue periodic Progress Reports for the Water Resilience Portfolio in the years to come.

SWRCB Updates Curtailment Suspensions in Delta and Scott River Watersheds
Last Monday, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) announced that as of January 11, certain curtailments in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed (Delta) are reimposed.

The water rights that are now curtailed include: post-1914 appropriative water rights in the Putah Creek subwatershed outside of the Legal Delta with a priority date of 1945 or later, post-1914 appropriative water rights in the Cache Creek subwatershed with a priority date of 1946 or later, post-1914 appropriative water rights in the Chowchilla River subwatershed with a priority date of 1959 or later and post-1914 appropriative water rights in the Fresno River subswatershed with a priority date of 1959 or later. You can check the status of your water rights on the Delta Watershed Curtailment Status List. More information can be found on the Delta Drought webpage.

The SWRCB also announced last Friday that, due to current and predicted rain levels and flows at the United States Geological Survey Fort Jones gage, the temporary suspension of all curtailments in the Scott River watershed is extended through this Friday at midnight. This suspension is contingent on the flow requirement at the Fort Jones gage of 200 cubic feet per second being maintained. You can find more information on the Scott River and Shasta River Drought webpage.

For any questions about curtailment notices or how to comply, please contact the Ranchers Technical Assistance Program at (916) 409-6902 or rtap@wrstrat.com.

New Episode of Stories from California Cattle Country
On this episode Ryan talks with Dan Macon, a Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension, about livestock guardian dogs. Listen to learn about the need for these dogs, their training and their viability in livestock operations. To listen and see a video and photos from our visit with Dan’s flock and two livestock guardian dogs, Elko and Dillon, visit https://calcattlecouncil.org/livestockguardiandogs.

The episode is also available on a variety of platforms for streaming podcasts. Stories from California Cattle Country is produced by the California Cattlemen’s Foundation with support from the California Cattle Council.

Governor Newsom Unveils Proposed 2022-23 Budget
Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled the “California Blueprint,” overviewing his proposed investments for the state’s record $286.4 billion Fiscal Year 2022-23 Budget. For CCA’s breakdown of the budget’s drought, wildfire and agricultural provisions most impacting California cattle ranchers, see last week’s edition of Legislative Bulletin.

California Rangeland Conservation Coalition Summit Goes Virtual
What’s the value of California rangelands and how can the ranchers who steward them help address the state and federal climate strategy goals of protecting 30% of land and water by 2030? Don’t miss the upcoming conversation that will happen surrounding this question at the 2022 California Rangeland Conservation Coalition Summit on January 24. This year’s Summit will happen completely virtually from 8:30am- 2pm. Register for the virtual Summit at https://carangeland.org/2022-summit.

CNRA Releases Draft Strategy for 30×30 Initiative
On December 15, the California Natural Resources Agency released “Pathways to 30×30: Accelerating Conservation of California’s Nature,” a draft strategy document for achieving the state’s goal of conserving 30% of the state’s land and coastal waters by 2030. The draft is available for public comment through February 15. For more information, see last week’s edition of Legislative Bulletin.

Healthy Soils Program Incentives Program Application Period Open
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting applications for the Healthy Soils Program Incentives Program until funds run out or by February 25. This program “provides financial incentives to California growers and ranchers to implement conservation management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs), and improve soil health.” CDFA is hosting one final workshop for information about the program on Thursday from 9-11am. To register for the virtual workshop click here; to learn more about applying click here.

Biden Administration Solicits Information on America the Beautiful “Atlas”
The Biden Administration earlier this month released a request for information to inform its development of an “American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas” which will guide how the Administration quantifies efforts to conserve 30% of the nation’s land and waters by 2030 via its “America the Beautiful” Initiative. The request for information is open for public comment (which can be submitted here) through March 7. For more information – including three upcoming virtual listening sessions hosted by the Administration, see the January 3 edition of Legislative Bulletin.

Upcoming Industry Events

California Rangeland Conservation Coalition Rangeland Summit
January 24, Cabral Ag Center, Stockton
Click here to register and learn more.

Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show
February 1-3, Houston

CCA Feeder Meeting
May 25-27, San Diego

CCA Midyear Meeting
June 22-23, Rancho Murieta

CCA in the News

Newsom’s budget tackles climate, drought and port congestion Agri-Pulse “A $1.2 billion spending plan for forest resilience and wildfire prevention drew praise from the California Cattlemen’s Association, particularly for the $482 million within the package dedicated to enhancing wildfire resilience. The funding could expand grazing and prescribed fire projects. Newsom highlighted in his presentation the valuable role grazing plays in forest health and fire resilience. Another $382 million is slated for strategic wildfire fuel breaks and $44 million for community hardening.” To continue reading, click here.

Cattlemen want more grazing on state land Western Farm Press “Two fire-related bills sponsored by CCA were signed into law in 2021 – Senate Bill 332 by Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, which raises the negligence bar for prescribed burn bosses; and AB 1103 by Assemblywoman Megan Dahle, R-Bieber, which created an “Ag Pass” to allow ranchers onto their land during wildfires to move livestock out of harm’s way and make sure they have feed and water.” To continue reading, click here.

UC gets $1.5M from NIFA for climate-smart ag Western Farm Press “‘Given ranchers’ strong relationships with and reliance upon technical services providers – particularly those housed within the USDA and University of California – CCA also sees great value in the project’s goal of building capacity within those organizations to assist ranchers in addressing the challenges of climate change,’ wrote Kirk Wilbur, CCA vice president of government affairs.” To continue reading, click here.

Community spirit shines at Winter Dinner Red Bluff Daily News “McCluskey introduced California Cattlemen President Tony Toso, Hornitos; 1st VP Steve Arnold, Santa Margarita; Executive VP Billy Gatlin, Government Affairs Kirk Wilbur. The California Cattle Council Executive Director Justin Oldfield and Foundation Noah Lopez. They had met earlier with TCCA directors and officers, legislators and Tehama County officials.” To continue reading, click here.

Industry News

Lawsuit: Point Reyes elk, ranch plan violates federal laws Marin Independent Journal “Environmental groups filed a lawsuit on Monday alleging the Point Reyes National Seashore’s land management plan violates federal law. The plan extends how long commercial cattle ranchers can rent land and allows staff to shoot some of the park’s tule elk. The lawsuit was expected following the controversial plan’s approval in September.” To continue reading, click here.

Peel: Cattle business looks brighter moving into 2022 The Fence Post “For cattle producers looking for a little good news in the future, look no further than the first part of 2022. Although challenges will exist — drought, cost of gain, labor shortages — enough changes are happening to help, especially those in the stocker sector.” To continue reading, click here.

NCBA backs WOTUS recommendations from US EPA The Cattle Site “On Friday, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced support for a report issued by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Advisory Committee (FRRCC).” To continue reading, click here.


New Episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast

In December, the California Air Resources Board’s approved new amendments to the Small Off-Road Engine program. California Cattlemen’s Foundation Public Policy Advocate Victoria Rodriguez joins Katie in this first episode of season two to talk about these changes and about what this means for ranching equipment. To listen to the episode, click here. Click here to download our new factsheet on the program.

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